The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
The story of a love that became the most fearful thing that ever happened to a woman!
A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he's investigating.
The perfect noir comedy of desire, an erotic refraction played in dapper proximity to Hitchcock (what’s taken from Rebecca is passed on to Vertigo). The famous opening introduces aristocratic Manhattan as a perfumed glass cabinet, a whip pan followed without pause by a dolly-in reveals Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) in his bathroom soaking like Marat, venomous typewriter suspended above a marble bathtub. Queenly aesthete and viperish columnist ("sentiment comes easy at 50 cents a word"), he finds a Galatea in Laura (Gene Tierney) and helps her ascend from Madison Ave. go-getter to shimmering socialite. A disfigured corpse brings out the blue-collar detective (Dana Andrews) and the shady bourgeoisie: a sponging playboy (Vincent Price), the "lean, strong body" easily toppled, and…
Blown away. I can't believe that this movie exists and that I hadn't seen it until now and that it achieves as much perfection as it does in under 90 minutes. This is absolutely essential viewing for any fans of film noir and particularly for anyone interested in the femme fatale as a symbolic cinematic figure. It's also the first time I've really been bowled over like this since I discovered and fell in love with The Conformist back in May. Anyway:
"My mother always listened sympathetically to my dreams of a career. Men taught me another recipe."
Laura (Gene Tierney) is dead. Shot in the face with a shotgun. Detective McPherson (Dana Andrews) is on the case, and he's…
A mystery film noir directed by Otto Preminger firing on all cylinders. The nights are pitch black, the weather is restless and the brightly lit interiors are filled with cigarette smoke, antique furniture and walking old-fashioned costumes. The atmosphere is stylishly conveyed and acutely perceived. The black and white cinematography is beautifully stark, the camera is moving smoothly, the dissolves are seamless. The sweeping, grandiose and dramatic score gives such weight to unfolding scenes. The dialogue is smart and very well written, excellently punctuated by the cast, part of which are Dana Andrews as the experienced and determined detective and Gene Tierney as the beautiful, attractive and fascinating titular character.
The mystery surrounding the murder is expertly constructed, allowing for…
Part of my War Years Challenge
Ah, film noir. If you are a fan, this film is a pure delight, winner of the Oscar for Best Cinematography, Black & White and nominated for four additional Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Art Direction. Otto Preminger was shortlisted for the Best Director Oscar, while Clifton Webb was named among the nominees for Best Supporting Actor. It's a case study in the making a masterful monochromatic mystery.
Dana Andrews plays police detective Lieutenant Mark McPherson, assigned to investigate the shotgun murder of advertising executive Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney). She was apparently killed in her apartment on a Friday night, and over the weekend her friend Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson) identifies the faceless body,…
Otto Preminger's "Laura" is an engaging murder mystery whose gender politics help it make compelling social commentary. That commentary never bubbles clearly to the top, however, creating an interesting subtext beneath the noir tropes at work in Preminger's gripping and satisfying drama.
Dana Andrews stars as a detective investigating the murder of Gene Tierney's Laura. Laura, the object of affection of two different men, soon becomes the object the detective's affection as well; though, he only knows her through her portrait and the stories told by those who knew her. The narrative moves down a twisty path, revealing truths that make the story memorable.
Under the front-and-center detective tale, lurks the story of a woman who lives, perhaps even dies,…
An incredible film about male projection. LAURA initially plays into the cliché that tends to type all movies that start with the focal character dead, wherein the viewer gets to feel like that person is an active, driving character for the force they continue to exert on the living. But in this case, when Laura is revealed to be alive, her actual presence throws everything that came before into disarray, revealing that image driving the story to be nothing more than the idealized visions of different men in love with her. I've been wanting to watch this movie for years (it spent a solid year near and at the top of my Netflix queue but the disc was always rented out), but never knew anything about it. Imagine my surprise to get not only a great noir an incredibly ahead-of-its-time reflection on noir's pedestal problem.
Casually surreal. A whodunit in which nobody really seems all that concerned with who done it; it exists in some strange alternate universe where nothing really works the way one expects it ought to. Characters are driven entirely by their erotic impulses, and the results are generally hilarious.
In fact, I'm a little shocked that this film isn't more widely appreciated as a straight-faced comedy; the off-kilter humor throughout seemed both obvious and wholly conscious to me. If Clifton Webb's delivery of "THE VULGAR PAWING OF A SECOND-RATE DETECTIVE WHO THINKS YOU'RE A DAME?!" doesn't seal it, then nothing could.
Also, Otto Preminger's camera operators are out of this world - it's downright conspicuous how technically flawless the movements are. The camera glides about seemingly effortlessly in a way that feels downright anachronistic for 1944.
Laura is a classic murder mystery with several clever plot twists and surprises. The charismatic cast of characters kept me vacillating between guesses of who did it. Go in blind and enjoy the ride.
A twist shouldn't just be a surprise; it should change the whole complexion of a movie, making us reconsider everything we believe about a character. LAURA dances on that edge for its entirety, sometimes twisting a twist before we get our new revelation bearings.
1940s noir mystery with some knockout photography. I love black and white films in this genre for how much they use light to tell the story. Though slower paced than many modern films, this one had enough surprises to keep me interested. I enjoyed the performances, though no one was really a standout. I guess this is a good example of an ensemble that works well. I do think Judith Anderson plays a great creepy bitch in this, reprising the same chilling presence she had in Rebecca.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this, and I hope people will take the time to watch it while it's on Netflix. It's a gem of a film!
A gripping mystery film noir from director Otto Preminger.
Understandably classic, but the Andrews/Tierney obsession/romance just doesn't work for me.
Laura is rife with fascinating insights into a different era. Perhaps the most stunning documentary on proper 1940s police detective protocol I've ever seen.
Day 119 of 365 of my year long challenge
Week 17: Femme Fatale
From the golden age to the modern, we fall for them every time.
Few films feature such evidently fragile characters as Laura. Self-aware in their own fragility, the characters leech onto each other in ways that make this femme fatale the thinnest example but also among the more intriguing.
When the body of Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney) is found dead in her apartment, Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) begins a subtly obsessive investigation. From Laura's mentor Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) to her fiancé Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price), the brittle, passive aggressive and morally bankrupt world of New York's socialites are exposed. All the while, McPherson…
A review in haiku:
The guy's named Dana
The gal's named Gene. The marquee's
just the first fine twist.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!